Daniel 1:8

SUBMISSION TO THE AUTHORITIES?

(September 28, 2020) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, brings a timely challenge…

I’m sure that we are all weary of the unavoidable and unrelenting news about Corona-19 and the responses to it by various political leaders in Australia. So many questions have been raised concerning the limits of political authority and police functions and personal rights.

Inconsistent political positions and, at times, authoritarian and uncompassionate directives, have not only created confusion but have also stirred the deep concerns of many loyal citizens – including many committed Christians.

This has raised questions such as:

  • ‘What principles should guide Christians when we see political leaders lying or abusing their position of trust or promoting values that stand opposed to biblical values or pursuing policies that suggest self-aggrandisement rather than the benefit of the people they lead?’
  • ‘Should they be challenged and their policies be opposed or should we meekly, quietly, uncomplainingly submit to and support their dictates?’

Recently I’ve read a number of articles by Christians who have expressed profound concern and have challenged many of the political decisions that some of our leaders have been making.  And I have also read many responses from other Christians who rebuke those who express their concern and dare to criticise those leaders whose government policies and pronouncements with which they disagree. Often they quote Romans 13:1-7 (particularly the first two verses) in support of their rebuke.

So what should be the Christian position in regard to political leaders when their guidelines, strategies and directives run contrary to democratic values, and more especially to biblical values?  Obviously both sides cannot be right!  Does Roman 13 endorse a position of acquiescence and impassivity when confronted by overreaching and, at times, tyrannical government officials and policies? (more…)